Although fall doesn’t officially arrive in Northeast Ohio until next week, the chill in the air this morning got me thinking about my family’s favorite fall festivals and activities. I thought about making this a fall family bucket list, but those always add stress to my life – making me feel if I can’t get to them all I’m somehow an inadequate parent. This list is simply me sharing some of my family’s favorite fall activities that we have enjoyed over many years with you in hopes you may find some new adventure in Northeast Ohio this fall.
So here are my family’s favorite fall festivals and activities in no particular order:
Boo at the Zoo (Cleveland Metroparks Zoo)
Halloweekends at Cedar Point
Although Halloweekends is perhaps best know for their haunted houses and scary sights, there is plenty of family fun to be enjoyed in the Great Pumpkin Fest. This year marks the 50th anniversary of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Cedar Point is celebrating with an all new Great Pumpkin Parade. There is also tons of great family entertainment, trick-or-treating, a hay maze, a magical fun house, and so much more! Halloweekends begin September 16th.
Boo-tanical Bash at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
Enjoy an evening of trick-or-treating in Hershey Children’s Garden as your kids explore the decorated garden paths. Kids enjoy games, learn about spiders and other bugs, create Halloween crafts, and enjoy live music. The Boo-tanical Bash is only one fabulous evening (Oct. 22), so be sure to get your tickets early before they sell out!
The name says it all with this one. The Family Fun Fest at Patterson Fruit Farm is good old-fashioned family fun. Kids can enjoy pedaling tractors and riding push carts, climbing in the haystacks, sliding down giant slides, exploring the tree house in the woods, and trying to navigate the hay maze. Be sure to end your day by picking some fresh apples in the orchards then heading over to their Farm Market on Caves Road for Patterson’s famous apple fritters. Patterson’s Family Fun Fest runs from September 17th through October 30th.
Fall Harvest Weekends at Lake Metroparks Farmpark
If you missed getting your tickets during the lightning fast sell out of the Haunted Hayrides at Lake Metroparks Farmpark (I still haven’t broken the news to my kids that we didn’t get tickets), Fall Harvest Weekends is another fabulous way to enjoy the beauty of Lake Farmpark in the fall. Each of the four Fall Harvest Weekends has a unique theme, but each is filled with harvest demonstrations, crafts, live farm animals, and of course their 3-acre corn maze! You can read more about our trip to Fall Harvest Weekends here. Fall Harvest Weekends run September 24th through October 16th.
Goblins in the Garden at Holden Arboretum
Goblins in the Garden is a fabulous way to experience Holden Arboretum and enjoy a day of trick-or-treating, a cornstalk maze, face painting, wagon rides, live entertainment, and the traditional Scarecrow Row! The autumn decorations at Holden Arboretum are some of my very favorites of the season so be sure to bring your camera for so fabulous shots of your kids in their costumes. This year’s Goblins in the Garden takes place October 8th and 9th.
Hauntaquarium at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium
This year’s not-so-spooky Halloween event at the Great Cleveland Aquarium is themed Under the Big Top. Kids can enjoy trick-or-treating, a maze, circus-themed photo ops, carnival games, crafts, live entertainment, and costumed scuba divers in the shark tank. A special bonus is that $12 a piece, tickets for this fabulous Halloween event are less than general admission to the aquarium!! You can read more about our trip to the Hauntaquarium here. The Hauntaquarium runs October 21-22 and 28-29.
Pumpkin Village at Mapleside Farms
Mapleside Farms’ giant 7-acre BELIEVELAND corn maze has been all over the news this year, but that is only one of the many fabulous reasons to visit Mapleside Farms Pumpkin Village. Their adorable cow and pig trains are not to be missed, as are the pig races. You can also enjoy a scenic hayride, slide down the longest slide in American, and bounce on their giant pillow. You can read more about our Pumpkin Village adventure here. The Pumpkin Village is open weekends now through October 30th.
As my kids are getting older, we are looking for some new adventures to add to our fall activities. I was considering checking out the Akron Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo and Harvest Festival at Hale Farm and Village. I’d love to hear your fall favorites.